"Ons huisdier is een kat."
Translation:Our pet is a cat.
So, I was under the impression that when „r" comes at the end of a syllable, it is pronounced as an alveolar approximant [ɹ]. However, upon closer inspection, it seems that there is something like the French enchaînement occurs since the following word starts with a vowel, turning the „r" into a uvular trill [ʀ]. Is this a usual phonological process in Dutch?
Maybe it is, I haven't thought about it. Very likely it's because the next phoneme is a vowel (and as when followed by a vowel, the r is pronounced as a uvular trillz it'd make sense this rule would apply not only when the sequence appears within a given word, but also when the vowel appears in initial position on the following word).
Note that this only applies in the varieties of Dutch that produce the r alternatively as a uvular trill or as an alveolar approximant.
If you choose the variety in which the r is pronounced as in Spanish, that is, alternating the voice alveolar trill ('rolled r'/'hard r', as in Spanish 'perro') with the voiced alveolar flap ('soft r, as in Spanish 'pero'). I haven't been able to figure out the 'rule'/'pattern' regarding this alternation, though, as far as I have been able to observe/hear it happens quite randomly (unlike in Spanish, where you'd only use the voiced alveolar trill when the r is in initial position, following an 's' or an 'n' or when you have a 'double r' -rr-).
Here's a video of a speaker who alternates the voiced alveolar trill with the flap, Martine Tanghe (one of the newsreaders of the VRT nieuws), she appears around 1:50 or 2: https://youtu.be/u05illJ7w2A
Hope this helps!
And also: I'm so glad to find another phonetics/phonology nerd :)
Is the Dutch d in mid-position usually pronounced so lightly? Huisdier sounded like huisier the first couple of times I listened. Eventually, I was able to hear the d, but it's very faint. Is this usual?
Well, it does sound different the way it sounds when it's in final position (when it is pronounced like an unaspirated /t/ - the 't' in 'instead', not the one in 'too'). In dier (ergo in huisdier) it sounds like a regular 'd'.
Hope this helps.
Ooops, I forgot a word: '... differen from...'. Sorry! Sometimes my mind moves way too fast and my fingers can't follow it.